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What makes me so difficult to work with?


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Tonight in session we were joined by another playworker from a different site, one who I have worked with just the once before. At the end of day we always take at least 30 minutes at the end of sessions to feedback on how the session went and on personal/ group practice. During this time feedback I was challenged with a piece of feedback which was

‘I’m not so sure other people in the service would necessary want, or would work with you, they might find it difficult’

Obviously I questioned this and It was backed up with the understanding that my values and beliefs are extremely strong and may put some of the staff off from working with me. So what is it that puts them off? 

I have high expectations but shouldn’t we all as playworkers, always wanting to improve our practice within the next session and be better at our role? Having worked in different setting and for strong minded people in the past I find this is a natural process. I do however find myself going over what may be so negative, maybe not negative but maybe uncomfortable for staff to acknowledge the way I work. I’m up front with staff, and always start a meeting make it clear that nothing said is personal but instead professional and a way of becoming better at our role.

It would be appreciated from those of you that know me, or have worked with me (or those that don’t in fact) as to why it may be such a difficulty, or is it more the fact that this member of staff was uncomfortable with the deep discussions we engage within at the end of session? The sessions are filled strongly with praise as given to all staff on interactions…and interventions where needed but I find the need to reflect slightly more on this. Your thoughts please.



  1. Jane Bond-Roberts says:

    As a reflective practitioner myself I think there is always a need for open and honest discussion. Sometimes these discussions can be very deep but nothing is personal or should be taken as so it is just, in my opinion, a way of professionals thriving to better things for the future of the profession we are in. Without reflection there is no future.
    I enjoy analysing in depth and sometimes there are negative thoughts, but how would you move forward without them?
    Everybody does things differently each and every task has differing results but at the end of the day those with the passion for what they do would understand this and accept this.

  2. plexity says:

    Your last two paragraphs say it all: don’t let it get to you.

  3. lilypooz says:

    You can’t get on with everyone but as long as your on the same page with the work your doing that’s all that matters. If its personal then it needs to be left at the gate.

    Keep going!

  4. klion says:

    Great post. I have met you but not worked with you, and heard you talk about how you regard your work, and your attitude towards it. It seems that you are very enthusiastic and have a high understanding of and regard for what you do, which should only be respected. I’ve encountered similar comments in the past, and I know I have strong opinions, and it took me a long time to realise why this might be hard for others (my default used to be that I was right and why didn’t everyone always agree with me?! And if I didn’t, I was going to make them agree, which I have now moved on from. Mostly). Playwork is full of strong characters, which is one way to stay in what can be a very difficult profession to stay in. We have to fight just to exist, if play people hadn’t and didn’t there probably wouldn’t be many decent playgrounds around. If playworkers don’t want to be challenged and have difficult conversations then they should go and work somewhere else as they are missing the point. Work teams are very rarely without some tension or difficulty, and often need effort from all of a team to make things gel and run well. Preferably a good manager would manage these kind of interactions in a sensible way and help you find your way through such comments. I I hope this happened before or as well as you putting this post up, and that this is not the only place where you got some advice with this. You are doing good stuff keep it up

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